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It’s odd spending the tenth anniversary of September 11th halfway across the world, when today my heart is only in New York.

New York City Skyline

Living in Brooklyn the last four years, I found great comfort in attending the annual 9/11 memorials. Some people are bothered by the yearly incessant media coverage and the endless discussions of “where were you when…” but what I always found more unsettling was to go about my normal routine as if it wasn’t the anniversary of the worst tragedy to ever occur in the city I loved so much. Standing at Ground Zero amongst thousands of strangers, all silently acknowledging the gravity of what happened in that very spot always brought me peace during an otherwise sad and reflective week. I would give anything to be there today.

I don’t know one other New Yorker on this island, and only a handful of Americans. There are no memorials here today on Koh Tao, no news crews swarming, no gathers of mourners, no heartfelt ceremonies. But there will be one person having a moment of silence, sitting on the beach and thinking about a city oceans away, a city that will always survive, never forget.

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24 Comments...
  • Kathryn
    September 11 2011

    Shakespeare always has something profound to say:

    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.

    We honor the lives lost and the pain of those left to mourn them by living *our* lives fully engaged.

    And then there’s my favorite bumper sticker: IMAGINE PEACE

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      I heard a great quote on BBC during the memorial from one of the wives of the victims: “We’ve given war a chance for ten years now. Why don’t we try giving peace a chance for the next ten?”

  • Dad
    September 11 2011

    we are all sitting with you in spirit on the beach in your moment of silence

    Love

    Dad

  • Noreen
    September 11 2011

    I am feeling the same Alex and will be remembering all of the victims today on the beach at Ocean City.

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      Noreen I always think of your family when I think of 9/11, and how deeply it must have effected all of you. Thinking of you today.

  • Jim Brandano
    September 11 2011

    Your thoughts and prayers are with your country and your city and that is what is really important! I see no problem with remembering each year and honoring the dead!! God Bless and stay well, I’m glad to have found your blog. I’m a photographer and read that you enjoy photography so I will be checking in from now on!!!

    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/09/remembering-9-11-with-images-of.html

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      Hi Jim, Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I think its true, you can be anywhere in the world on this day but your heart and mind will be in one place.

  • Mel
    September 11 2011

    Alex,

    This made me tear up.

    Love and miss you dearly.

    <3Mel

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      Mel! It was such a lovely surprise to see your comment. I miss you guys too, glad everyone is safe. xo

  • Danielle
    September 11 2011

    Beautiful post Alex. I agree- I don’t mind the media coverage and discussions. There’s nothing wrong with taking one day out of the entire year to remember something tragic and devastating as this. It changed many people’s lives forever, not to mention it changed our country.
    Danielle recently posted..Surprise Dining [Bucket List Edition]

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      So true Danielle. In the end I was able to find the memorial streaming live on BBC, and it gave me a lot of the comfort I was looking for.

  • Bridget Ball Shaw
    September 11 2011

    I don’t have the words, Alex. We all need to comfort each other today. From wherever we may be.

  • Laura
    September 11 2011

    Alex, I have to stop reading your posts because they all make me cry 🙂 That being said, you are doing exactly what all Americans should do, go on living our lives to the fullest but never forget! I’m here and can view all the 911 media coverage but choose not to because it just upsets me to much. My heart is with those who died that day and their loved ones. That is about all we can do along with enjoying life. Love you and miss you.

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      I’m sorry to keep making you cry Laura! But I’m glad you read anyway and left this comment. I was thinking about you yesterday, as I was all my loved ones.

  • I wish that I was in the City as well. I lived right next to the WTC memorial for 4 years. I had to walk by it almost every single day I lived there. To not be there today just feels WRONG.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..My Wedding & Honeymoon: Day 6-10 (Part 3)

  • Kris Koeller
    September 11 2011

    This year is the last time they’re doing the Memorial in Lights tonight. I’m hoping to make it to Brooklyn to shoot photos weather permitting. Its a somber occasion, but the entire city has been militarized to the point where its a bit creepy. Its strangely quiet, like when the hurricane rolled through a few weeks ago.
    Kris Koeller recently posted..Daily Photo: 1 World Trade Center

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      My sister sent me a photo of the lights, and I loved it. I’m sad to hear its the last year they will be doing it, but I understand that people need to heal in stages.

  • debbie
    September 11 2011

    Very touching post… I find comfort in some of the media events that surround this horrible event… while at other times I find some of it repulsive.

    Enjoyed your post…
    debbie recently posted..9-11 Anniversary Tribute

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      I agree Debbie. I only get BBC here in Thailand which I think avoids most of the exploitative coverage some stations can have.

  • Steve McKee
    September 11 2011

    Alex:
    I loved TODAY’S post, about TODAY, 9/11.
    To bring you back TODAY at least in spirit not just to New York City but to Brooklyn, here is a link to a story I wrote for today’s York Sunday News, my old hometown Pennsylvania newspaper.
    http://www.ydr.com/ci_18860032
    The mention of the house in our Cobble Hill neighborhood would be the first of the two houses you would remember being in for the Christmas Party.
    GREAT psot today, Alex. Keep it up.
    Hi to Mark. Best, Stv

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      Steve, your story was amazing. Thanks for sharing the link, and I encourage everyone to click through.

  • Jan
    September 12 2011

    Great post, I am new to your blog, I will be back.
    Jan recently posted..Some New Photos of a Favorite Place.

    • Alex
      September 12 2011

      Thanks, Jan! Happy to have you.

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